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From the President
  • President's Theme: Plant Connecticut: Be a Conservation Champion
    Conserve Water - Assist Pollination - Garden Naturally
    To participate in the 2017-2019 state project, click here.

  • 2016-2017 Annual Report

(*Annual Reports from previous years are archived here.)

President's Message (from the NEWS)

Happy Spring Fellow Gardeners!

The growing season is now upon us - with Nature providing tantalizingly beautiful sceneries throughout our landscapes and gardens.

With that in mind, I trust that my President's Theme "PLANT CONNECTICUT - BE A CONSERVATION CHAMPION" - will spike your interest in becoming involved. Connecticut is considered at the forefront of environment-friendly practices throughout our State. I invite you to become stewards in your own community and help in three major areas that continue to be of concern in supporting a healthy environment for today and for future generations.

A deficit of more than 12 inches in rainfall has substantially dropped our water table - so let's strive to CONSERVE WATER. Indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides is raising havoc among our pollinators - so let's strive to ASSIST POLLINATION. Without resorting to chemical sprays and fertilizer, there are many ways to grow plants in our gardens and town parks - so let's GARDEN NATURALLY.

Moving on to my President's Projects - I hope to engender real interest among you as a garden club to participate in creating either a Pollinator-friendly garden or a Xeriscape garden in your community over the next two years, and for you as a garden club member to create a Xeriscape garden section in your own garden.

Our State Projects Chair is Holly Kocet, of the Garden Club of Newtown,, who will be your go between in participating. Contest rules are published in my brochure available upon request, and further details will be posted on our website. In April of 2019 we hope to present a Conservation Championship Award for both garden projects to garden clubs in small, medium, large and extra large club size categories as well as of up to five garden club members with the most impressive Xeriscape garden.

If you've attended our Annual Meeting you were privy to outgoing President Jane Waugh's documentation of her very successful two-year administration - with emphasis on her Oak Tree Project, the Idea Exchange Symposia, her monthly Update to Club Presidents newsletters, as well as our Federation's continuation to sponsor the four Nationally accredited schools of Environmental Studies, Flower Show, Gardening Study and Landscape Design.

With that in mind, let's strive to make the next two years equally successful.
In conclusion, I feel honored to take the helm as the 44th President of The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut, Inc. for 2017-2019.

In the spirit of Conservation,

Inge Venus





FGCCT Honors Jacqueline Connell

The Harbor Lights Were Shining Brightly at

Greetings Fellow Gardeners!

It might have been frigid outside, but it was warm and wonderful at The Federation's State Flower Show, "Ports of Call," Feb 19-22 at the CT Convention Center in Hartford. Inspired by exotic ports around the world, the Floral Designs were stunning, the Horticulture shimmered and the Photography and Special Exhibits were fascinating. Many, many thanks to Show Chair, Barbara Bruce, and her legions of Exhibitors, Judges, Hostesses and Volunteers. It took much more than a village to put on this visual and fragrant extravaganza. Visitors were transported in their imaginations to dreamy climes around the globe. Congratulations on its grand success to everyone who helped with the show and to all who entered designs, plants, photography and special exhibits-we thank you for the superb adventure.

Left to Right: Becky Paul passing the legacy on to "Ports of Call" Chair, Barbara Bruce; Opening ceremony with Roger Swain; North East Expos President Kristie Gonsalves; FGCCT President Jacqueline Connell and FS Chair Barbara Bruce;
Award of Horticultural Excellence and Grower's Choice Award for Clivia by Ginni Donovan, Cheshire GC and Suburban GC of Cheshire.

From Left to Right: Club Competition Award: Vignette "Adventures in Africa" by Evergreen GC; President Susan Fisher. Designers Susan Jackson, Sally Whipple. Missing from photo: Joan Merman and Rita Patrello. Section A, Class 3 "Coral Fringed Barbados" by Alice Luster. Designer's Choice Award; Terry Stoleson Creative Design Award; and Award of Design Excellence. Educational Top Exhibitor Award for "The Plight of the Magnificent Monarchs" by Pomperaug Valley GC; Designer Marty Sherman.

From left to Right: CT Photography Award to Susan Berensen for "Vacation Memories." Landscape Design Council Award presented to Creative Contours for Landscape #15.Artistic Crafts Award to Mary Pura, Danbury GC, for "Lei."

Photos by Becky Paul, Leslie Martino and Inge Venus.

Show Committee - The Crew

President - Jacqueline Connell
General Chairman, Schedule & Treasurer -
Barbara Bruce
Northeast Expos Liaison - Jane Waugh
Design Coordinator - Barbara Bosco
Horticulture Coordinator - Ronnie Schoelzel
Special Exhibits - Maureen Carson
Photography - Leslie Martino & Jacqueline Connell
Floor Plan - Alice & Duane Luster
Design Classification - Terry Stoleson & Maria Nahom
Horticulture Classification - Rodney Hayes & Felise Cressman
Staging - Pat Dray & MaryEllen Unger
Design Entries Facilitator - Jan Hickcox
Horticulture Entries - Cindy Marien
Painting - Kathrine Neville
Design Quality Control - Ellen Clarke
Horticulture Entries Facilitator - Cordalie Benoit
Horticulture Placement - Kathrine Neville
Signs & Entry Cards - MaryEllen Unger
Administration/Formatting - Donna Nowak
Judges - Trish Manfredi
Awards - Alison Feaster & Kathie Skinner
Walk-in Horticulture Entries - Ellie Tessmer
Judges Clerks - Margareta Kotch
Publicity - Rebecca Paul
Comment Cards - Kris Urbanik
Hospitality - Sophie Kelley
Hostesses - Cathy Ritch
Membership - Leslie Martino
Books - Nancy Cebik & Sally Kuslis


Connecticut Landscape Design School March 24-26

March in The Federation means another Landscape Design Study School is coming. Landscape Chair, Susan Laursen, and her committee will present Course I March 24-26. While the courses may be taken in any order, Course I is the perfect place to start. It covers such varied topics as the development of design, principles and elements of landscape design, including space and color, the site plan, the role of designers and available resources. We are delighted to be back in our "home away from home" at the CT Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven. Join us and learn how to integrate effective design into your home landscape or a club or town project.

SAVE THE DATE: April 15 for FGCCT's Annual Meeting at Aqua Turf

Please attend the State Annual Meeting at Aqua Turf in Plantsville on April 15 to inaugurate our new State President, Jane Waugh, and her in-coming Administration.

We are most fortunate to have Candace Morgenstern as our featured program speaker. Candace brings both a wealth of experience and a fresh approach to Floral Design. For years a Judge and National Board Member, former State President of RI, a leader of the American delegation of the World Association of Flower Arrangers (WAFA), Candace is sure to dazzle us with her innovative arrangements. Don't miss this very special opportunity to experience one of the East Coast's most accomplished designers.

Share the Best of Yourself: Be a Mentor

Many of our clubs will be changing officers and committee chairs this spring. If you hold one of these key positions, please help create a smooth transition and a nurturing environment by serving as a Mentor to your successor. You have spent the last couple of years or more learning the "tricks of the trade," the intricacies of your particular office--these are rich and vital commodities. When you take your successor under your wing, you, your successor, and your club will all be winners.

Happy Vernal Equinox, Happy Spring!

* Jacqueline Connell




So many clubs have been supportive of our Science Center Children’s Garden by sending in donations. We welcome other clubs to join in.
This endeavor will be so rewarding to families visiting the center. For a complete list of clubs that have donated check our website

A special thank you goes to Chair Dee Mozzocchi, and to Kathrine Neville and her committee for working on the exciting garden plans.



Copyright © The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut, Inc.
Last updated
April 28, 2017